Direct Debit FAQs
What is a Direct Debit?
A Direct Debit is a payment of an agreed amount made from members/donors' bank or building society account to a named organisation authorised by a Direct Debit Instruction. Payers are always advised in advance if the amount or date is going to change.
Do Direct Debits work with any account?
Most current accounts at banks and building societies can be used to make Direct Debit payments. Even some special savings accounts also accept them -just ask at your branch.
Can I cancel a Direct Debit Instruction?
Yes. Instructions can be cancelled by writing to your bank or building society, or by calling your bank or accessing your account online if you have online banking. We also request that you notify NHS Shared Business Services. This avoids us sending out a letter to check that the cancellation is correct, and also helps us to know why you have chosen to cancel your direct debit.
Your bank or building society will generally require at least a day's notice before the Direct Debit is due to be paid. Try not to leave it until the last minute or you run the risk of a payment being debited from your account.
Remember that if you cancel your Direct Debit and there is a balance still outstanding against the value of your invoice, that balance will become payable immediately. Funds cannot be taken from an account once a Direct Debit has been cancelled without the account holder establishing a new Direct Debit instruction.
How safe is Direct Debit?
Direct Debit is one of the safest ways of paying your bills. Organisations using the Direct Debit scheme go through a careful vetting process before they're authorised, and are closely monitored by the banking industry.
The Direct Debit Scheme protects you and your money by means of the Direct Debit Guarantee. This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that take part in the Direct Debit Scheme. The efficiency and security of the Scheme is monitored and protected by your own bank or building society.
What is a Direct Debit Guarantee?
The Direct Debit Guarantee:
- This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits.
- If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit, we will notify you 5 days in advance of your account being debited, or as otherwise agreed.
- If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society.
- If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when requested and by the date specified/agreed.
When will the first payment (and future payments) be made?
Your first Direct Debit payment will be taken from your bank account the month after you receive your invoice if it is dated the 24th or before. If it is dated the 25th or after it will be taken after a further month. The payment date will be on the 5th of the month or the next working day. All future payments will be monthly thereafter on the 5th of the month or the next working day.
I have a joint bank account. Can I set up the direct debit without my partner?
If both account holders are required to authorise debits from the account then print off a copy of the 'Direct Debit Instruction' form complete and return to Care Quality Commission, T70, F179, NHS Shared Business Services, Direct Debit Team, Level 5, Ground Floor, Spectrum Building, Bond Street, Bristol, BS1 3LG.
Is there a charge for having a direct debit?
There is no charge to you the Customer for splitting your invoice payments over the course of the available monthly instalments. However, if your payment does not complete due to e.g. insufficient funds, there may be a charge applied by your Bank (please check your Banks terms and conditions).
What description will be on my bank statement against the transaction?
The description 'CQC' will appear on your bank statement.
What if I haven't got enough money in my bank account?
You must ensure that you have sufficient funds in your account.
What if the payment fails?
If a payment fails, we will receive notification with the reason for failure. If the reason for is insufficient funds, we will represent your Direct Debit payment around the 20th of the month (please allow 5 days either side) you must ensure you have sufficient funds in your account. If the reason for failure does not allow us to represent your payment, our Collections Team will contact you and request immediate payment of the missing instalment. Failure to make this instalment may result in the direct debit agreement being withdrawn and your remaining balance will become due immediately.
How many instalments will there be?
The maximum instalments available are 10 instalments over the course of the year. This is based on the date of the invoice and your anniversary date. However, there may be circumstances where the number of instalments is reduced but you will be able to see these details on your invoice.
What will happen next year?
If you have registered for a Direct Debit, the instruction will remain open for the following year. Therefore your next annual invoice will automatically be paid via Direct Debit providing you do not have an outstanding balance from any missed instalments.
Once it's set up, do I have to do anything?
No, other than making sure there's enough money in your account every time the payment is due. To help you, we will let you know the date in which we will deduct the instalment and the value of the instalment 5 days prior. It's a good idea to make a note of when Direct Debits are due out of your account, so that you can plan accordingly.
Will the payment always be on the same date every month?
Normally yes. If the payment date falls at the weekend or on a bank holiday, we will take the money out of your account just after that due date.
What if changes are needed?
If either the amount or the payment dates changes, we will notify you in advance (5 days) of your account being debited.
What is the Direct Debit dormancy period?
All banks hold details of Direct Debit Instructions for a minimum period of 13 months from the last payment, or if no collections have been made, from the date it was set up. This rule was introduced to protect you - so if you should forget to cancel a Direct Debit, it will not remain active on your account indefinitely. After the dormancy period has elapsed, and before claiming further Direct Debit payments, we must obtain your authority to continue collecting.
Can any organisation collect money by Direct Debit?
No. Banks and building societies only permit organisations with known integrity and sound financial and administrative capabilities to collect money by Direct Debit.
Does agreeing a Direct Debit Instruction mean that money can be taken out of my account whenever the service user likes?
No. We can only collect the amount notified to you, and you will be advised of any change to the date, frequency or amount via email.
If I set up a Direct Debit over the telephone or via the internet, what record will I have of the agreement?
You will be sent an email confirmation of your Direct Debit Instruction within three working days of the telephone call or online sign up. Regardless of what method of sign up you agree to, you are still fully covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee.
What happens when the amount or date changes?
You will be notified in writing at least 5 days before the collection allowing you time to query the amount or date if necessary. A Direct Debit Instruction stands until cancelled, so there is no new Direct Debit Instruction to sign when the amount or date of collection changes.
How do I change my Direct Debit details?
If you are changing banks and your new bank is managing the process, then we should receive notification through the BACS banking system. If you wish to inform us of a change of bank or bank account please contact us.
What happens if a mistake is made?
If an error is made by us, or by your bank or building society, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount paid.